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Any hiker deaths in BIBE?

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Offline Quatro

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Re: Any hiker deaths in BIBE?
« Reply #30 on: July 31, 2009, 12:18:52 AM »
Yep, I also like trying to learn from both fatal and non-fatal accidents.  I often check the hikerhell website.  The web author is backing off from the sometimes condesceding cause analysis, but sometimes lacks much analysis at all.

14ers.com has good threads about accidents, but all too often it drops to a slam-fest against the victim. I haven't seen that happen here thankfully.

The frequency of accidents reported on that site (14ers) easily dwarfs those reported on this site, causing me to believe that maybe Texans aren't quite so dumb as reported in Colorado.
When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro - HST

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Offline Al

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Re: Any hiker deaths in BIBE?
« Reply #31 on: July 31, 2009, 12:36:14 AM »
Yep, I also like trying to learn from both fatal and non-fatal accidents.  I often check the hikerhell website.  The web author is backing off from the sometimes condesceding cause analysis, but sometimes lacks much analysis at all.

14ers.com has good threads about accidents, but all too often it drops to a slam-fest against the victim. I haven't seen that happen here thankfully.

The frequency of accidents reported on that site (14ers) easily dwarfs those reported on this site, causing me to believe that maybe Texans aren't quite so dumb as reported in Colorado.

That's because when you are driving up that mountain road in the Rocky's and there is a long line of cars slowly ascending the mountain, there is a Texan in the front of the line saying to his fellow Texans trapped with him in the car, "Hol@ S@#$! - it ain't flat!!! . . . right before the beer can is thrown out the window (support local recycling)!"

Al
« Last Edit: July 31, 2009, 12:38:59 AM by Al »

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Offline TheWildWestGuy

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Re: Any hiker deaths in BIBE?
« Reply #32 on: July 31, 2009, 08:03:52 AM »
Rumor Is....
- the guy that died in the cave at Mule Ears was "due in court" and had "some problems" so I thought for a couple years that this was staged but then they found his "disarticulated remains" so I guess it wasn't after all.   Some cross country backpackers were circling the ears off-trail and found his backpack (daypack?) and were smart enough to recognize it as a problem and give it to the rangers who went back out there and searched upstream.
- the retired Dr from Conroe was reportedly in a arroyo between Dodson Spring and the Juniper Canyon Trailhead south of the OML Trail.   It's too bad they couldn't save him since they seemed to have gotten to him while he was still alive, maybe he had some medical problem that compounded the dehydration/sunstroke.
- the 3 illegal aliens were from Boquillas and had apparently travelled up the backside of Alto Relex to near the TC1 Campsite then split up.  It is rumored that one tried to make it to McKinney Springs,  another sought help on the Old Ore Road, and the third tried to make it back to the River.  None of them made it.  The locals in Boquillas said they were going to visit some relative having a baby in Alpine (on foot?) but I don't buy that story.   I think they were probably planning to meet a driver at the TC1 campsite and that person never showed up.  They probably waited and waited until all their water was gone and it was too late.  The closest water to TC1 is probably the springs below Roys Peak Vista campsite.    TWWG

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Offline lparent

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Re: Any hiker deaths in BIBE?
« Reply #33 on: July 31, 2009, 10:30:41 AM »
It's not surprising that there are far more accidents on fourteeners in CO than at Big Bend.  There are far more hikers on fourteeners than there are hikers doing difficult routes at Big Bend.  Try hiking up Longs Peak on a summer weekend.  If you don't show up by 6AM, you can't even get a parking spot (and it's a large parking lot).  Weather is such a killer (pun intended) at 14,000 feet.  Lightning storms come up out of nowhere, snow can fall in July.  Cliffs, loose rock, and exposure are endemic on several of them and the air is thin.  Every time I climb one, at some point I wonder what the heck I'm doing up there.

I, too, am glad that people on this site aren't bashing the victims.  I've talked to some of the victims' family members.  It's not a happy thing.  Yes, the victim sometimes made mistakes, but their family is still out there and they don't need to be hammered on it.  The victim has already paid the ultimate price.  Discussing the mistakes is good.  It can help prevent similar incidents in the future, but a little tact goes a long way. 

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Offline mountaindocdanny

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Re: Any hiker deaths in BIBE?
« Reply #34 on: July 31, 2009, 11:17:39 AM »
I think I made mention of it in a post several years ago about coming across a fully loaded Dana Designs external frame pack deep in Telephone Canyon. It was eery to come across as it contained full water bottles, the guys glasses, a nice film SLR with no film in it and no shot rolls of film in the pack (but several unshot) and some other pieces of decent quality gear. I was solo and tentless and spent the next several nights off trail imagining every rustling bush or falling rock was from some narcotrafficante getting set to eliminate yet another potential witness to his drug smuggling route. I did report the find with an approximate location and pictures to the NPS, but never did hear anything back.

Re: Any hiker deaths in BIBE?
« Reply #35 on: July 31, 2009, 03:52:40 PM »
It's not surprising that there are far more accidents on fourteeners in CO than at Big Bend.  There are far more hikers on fourteeners than there are hikers doing difficult routes at Big Bend.  Try hiking up Longs Peak on a summer weekend.  If you don't show up by 6AM, you can't even get a parking spot (and it's a large parking lot).  Weather is such a killer (pun intended) at 14,000 feet.  Lightning storms come up out of nowhere, snow can fall in July.  Cliffs, loose rock, and exposure are endemic on several of them and the air is thin.  Every time I climb one, at some point I wonder what the heck I'm doing up there.

(snip)

There is a great book called "Deep Survival". He discusses the whole who lives/who dies thing and goes into detail about the accident/death rates at popular wild areas (parks, ski slopes, etc). There is a tendency for people to be more complacent in these popular areas, figuring it must be "easy". Most nature freaks (I include myself, not a derogatory term) tend to slip up sometimes, most of us just get real lucky and don't die. I got lost for three hours on a half hour walk from the car in the Gila Wilderness (with no water  :icon_rolleyes:). There is also a lack of mental preparedness in regards to how to react to a situation in the wild vs. how you would react to a situation in "civilization".  Even if you mess up, you can often recover if you can adapt to your dilemma.

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Offline dkerr24

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Re: Any hiker deaths in BIBE?
« Reply #36 on: July 31, 2009, 09:28:55 PM »
I think I made mention of it in a post several years ago about coming across a fully loaded Dana Designs external frame pack deep in Telephone Canyon. It was eery to come across as it contained full water bottles, the guys glasses, a nice film SLR with no film in it and no shot rolls of film in the pack (but several unshot) and some other pieces of decent quality gear. I was solo and tentless and spent the next several nights off trail imagining every rustling bush or falling rock was from some narcotrafficante getting set to eliminate yet another potential witness to his drug smuggling route. I did report the find with an approximate location and pictures to the NPS, but never did hear anything back.

That must have been spooky to come across that pack in such a remote area.  Especially when hiking solo.

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Offline TheWildWestGuy

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Re: Any hiker deaths in BIBE?
« Reply #37 on: August 02, 2009, 10:37:07 PM »
Hey MtnDocDaddy any idea how long the pack had been there or who it belonged too?  

I came across a loaded REI pack about 1/2 mile above Upper Juniper Springs on the OML a few years ago, it was about 20' off the trail but clearly visible when hiking uphill (which is not the normal route).  The pack had a couple cobwebs on the zipper so I knew it had been there awhile but it was still creepy especially since I was solo.  I searched around the area, called out, then dug into the pack for clues, no ID, no cell phone, no wallet, but about 10 empty 12 OZ water bottles in a Wal-Mart bag, womens clothing with Houston logos, and (believe it or not) a portable propane heater (the kind you would use for car camping).  Also in the pack was a lime green inflatable air mattress (like a kids pool toy), lots of freeze dried food (I should have eaten the ice cream), and no maps, water filter, or stove.   I reported it to the rangers and LE's and they went out and got it with a horse a day or two later.  They said nobody had reported it and it was fairly common for people to get overwhelmed with backpacking on the OML and just leave their gear and never come back or tell the rangers about it.   Hopefully that's the story of all abandonded backpacks but who knows?   TWWG
« Last Edit: August 03, 2009, 11:08:40 PM by TheWildWestGuy »

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Offline Undertaker

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Re: Any hiker deaths in BIBE?
« Reply #38 on: August 03, 2009, 10:20:33 AM »
I wonder if it is leave it and never come back or leave in and never be found. I found several over the years in Pima County SAR in the 60's (yes the 60's) and sometimes the remains would never be found or found several years later, longest I personally remember was two years after one search a hunter found the remains miles from the pack location, pack was fully stocked except water, always wondered if dehydration had clouded the mind and he wondered off and passed away, very sad, at least the family had some closure. Many folks visit and feel in this day and age they are safe anywhere, guess this comes form the government will protect you everywhere, your best survival kit is your mind, become informed, ask questions and be safe, BiBe is a desert winter or summer, water, water, water, map compass (know how to use them), gps (can and does fail when you need it worst), knowledge of local area, have and leave trip plan, in car, at home (where are you going, when do you expect to return), let people know, it does not hurt to leave more than one. Rangers for the most park enjoy their parks and meeting the folks, they and SAR folks do not enjoy finding or carrying remains out for the family.
Visiting BB since 1966, nothing like being lost and finding heaven.

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Offline mountaindocdanny

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Re: Any hiker deaths in BIBE?
« Reply #39 on: August 03, 2009, 11:05:38 AM »
The pack I found had been there for several months at least. There was some mild sunbleaching to the fabric and cobwebs in the zipper. Once again there were no identifying documents. The concerning thing to me was that it was probably 6-8 miles from the trailhead and still had water in the pack. I went poking around for a body but didn't spend more than ten minutes doing so as evening was approaching and I wanted at least a few miles between me and the pack before I went to sleep. It kind of gave me the "heeby-jeebies".

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Offline TexasAggieHiker

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Re: Any hiker deaths in BIBE?
« Reply #40 on: August 03, 2009, 11:28:11 AM »
Quote
10 empty 12 OZ water bottles in a Wal-Mart bag, womens clothing with Houston logos, and (believe it or not) a portable propane heater (the kind you would use for car camping).  Also in the pack was a lime green inflatable air mattress (like a kids pool toy), lots of freeze dried food (I should have eaten the ice cream), and no maps, water filter, or stove.   

I fear for people that pack like this.  They head out with no clue about the struggles they will face or the equipment they need.  Hopefully who ever owned that pack got tired and said "F it".  Tossed the pack down the hill, turned around and walked out safely.

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Offline Undertaker

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Re: Any hiker deaths in BIBE?
« Reply #41 on: August 03, 2009, 11:43:25 AM »
Sad very sad, with all the information available as well as experience, we found a girl that walked around a couple of days after her boyfriend fell and broke a leg, took her a day or so to be able to give information on his location, she did not even remember where car was located. When she did we found car at trail head and began search, with next to no other information, did find the body, his fall had broken the femur and blood loss had killed him. Being prepared is no joke he was experienced hiker, she was not, they had not left trip plan, not sure that would have helped with the bad break, but had he fallen and she had at least known how to return to car, he might be alive today. The wild does not forgive poor planning, accidents or lack of skills very often.
Visiting BB since 1966, nothing like being lost and finding heaven.

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Offline Peach

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Re: Any hiker deaths in BIBE?
« Reply #42 on: August 03, 2009, 01:22:46 PM »
I know to some it may seem macabre, but stories about hikers meeting their end does make you think about the little details and how you can personally avoid making the mistakes others have.  

This is very true.  I have been known to do stupid, stupid things in my early days of hiking/camping.  But reading stories like what are on this thread has made me wiser in my choices.  Thanks for posting all of these everyone.

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Offline dkerr24

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Re: Any hiker deaths in BIBE?
« Reply #43 on: August 03, 2009, 02:05:14 PM »
I made plenty of trips in the backwoods without the proper equipment and in retrospect, I was damn lucky I didn't turn up hurt or dead. 

In the days before the internet, some folks didn't bother going to the local library to read up on backpacking in the wilderness and came out there woefully unprepared.  I definitely would have been in that group.

It's hardly an excuse today since a simple internet search will yield a ton of information, including detailed packing lists, instructions on how to read a map/compass, etc.

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Offline cjacob

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Re: Any hiker deaths in BIBE?
« Reply #44 on: August 13, 2009, 12:56:29 AM »
I will be honest, on my last trip in March I got lost in Crotton Springs Trail.  I had a topo map, GPS, and hand held radio.  I had no water and it was the end of the day.  I was bound not to leave with out finding the RB.  I found the item I was looking for spotted parking marked the points in my GPS.  On the way out I overshot the trail became lost could not figure out which way I should be walking.  I had to use the radio to call buddy to start looking for me.  I had sat down to figure out where I was on the map and plan a course to get out.  Before my buddy could find me I had figured out where I missed the trail.  It quickly scared me since the outcome could have not been so nice.   

 


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